Decades have passed since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963, yet the truth behind what happened is still mired in secrecy, and conspiracy theories abound. Everyone from the C.I.A. to the U.S.S.R. to the Illuminati have come under scrutiny from conspiracy theorists.
But in October of 2017, due to a little-known act called the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (or the JFK Records Act for short), the theories may soon be put to rest.
The act states that all of the government’s JFK assassination records must be publicly released and made available in the National Archives no later than 25 years after the JFK Records Act was passed — which means October 26, 2017. The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created to collect and sort the more than 40,000 documents regarding the assassination, many of which will be seen for the very first time when they are released.
Public interest in the details of Kennedy’s assassination hasn’t waned over time. Just tonight, the video streaming platform Hulu will release “11.22.63,” a time-travel miniseries about the JFK assassination. Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel of the same name, the series follows an English teacher as he travels back in time to try to stop the assassination.
The country saw a glimpse of what the secret documents may contain in early February after a Freedom of Information Act request from POLITICO and other news organizations lead to the release of a list of titles of 3,063 documents that have never been seen before.
While not all of the files are expected to be directly involved with Kennedy’s death, other government secrets like intelligence operations with Cuba and secret U.S. spy agency relationships during the Cold War are expected to be exposed. Still, Martha Murphy, the head of the National Archives’ Special Access Branch, told POLITICO last year: “I’ll be honest. I am hesitant to say you’re not going to find out anything about the assassination.”
Yet the world may never see all of the documents in full despite the JFK Records Act. A loophole was put in that could hide the paper trail of information leading to the details of the assassination. Whomever is president in 2017 could decide that the records are a threat to national security and shouldn’t be released. The most devout conspiracy theorists believe that America’s spy agencies will do everything in their power to persuade the future president to do just that — making sure the full story of what really happened is never known.
Here’s a little of what to expect if and when the full set of documents is released:
New Information About Lee Harvey Oswald
Oswald served in the Marines, and then defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 before returning to the United States. Oswald was allegedly the lone assassin, and weeks before the assassination, he visited Mexico City to allegedly get a travel visa to Cuba. A telegram from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to the State Department sent only a week after the assassination will be released, possibly shedding more light on Oswald’s activities.
In addition to that, pages and pages of CIA files on Oswald and his brother Robert’s connections to the Soviet Union will be released.
Private Communications Of Jacqueline Kennedy
At least five of Jackie Kennedy’s private communications with President Lyndon B. Johnson days after the assassination are to be released.
C.I.A. Secrets About Kennedy And Beyond
C.I.A. officials James Angleton, Frank Sturgis, and David Phillips, along with F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover, all testified in the J.F.K. investigation. Angleton, Sturgis, and Phillips all had ties to CIA assassination missions in Cuba. And all four men have been central figures in some of the most visible conspiracy theories about how the CIA was responsible for the assassination of Kennedy.
In addition to those four men, background and information on numerous other spies will be released with the Kennedy files, some of which has nothing to do with the assassination but may shed light on some of America’s most covert operations.
Next, take a look at these incredible John F. Kennedy photos (including some rare pictures with Marilyn Monroe). Then, before the JFK assassination records are released, occupy yourself with the five greatest mysteries in human history.